STATE COLLEGE - Gift Ngoepe scored Justin Bencsko with a walk-off single in the bottom of the tenth to lead the State College Spikes to their second extra-inning win of the year, 5-4, over the Hudson Valley Renegades on Tuesday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Bencsko's leadoff double in the final frame started the offense for the Spikes (11-8). After Kelson Brown's groundout moved him over to third, a pair of intentional walks set up the game-winning single to right over a five-man infield.
It was also another come-from-behind victory for State College, as Hudson Valley (7-11) took a 4-2 lead after three innings. The Spikes came back with single runs in the fourth and fifth to tie the game until the end. With the win, State College maintained at least a tied for first place in the Pinckney Division.
Brown went 3-for-5 with a run batted in, while Benscko, Adalberto Santos, and Walker Gourley all tripled. It was the first time in 2010 the Spikes had multiple triples in one game. Santos and Bencsko each doubled as well.
Jason Townsend (1-0) picked up the first win of his professional career with two shutout innings in the ninth and tenth. Townsend allowed only one hit in his tenure on the mound. Quinton Miller, on minor league rehabilitation assignment, started and went two-and-two-thirds innings, allowing four runs on four hits and a walk while striking out two. Kevin Decker then pitched five-and-one-third innings of scoreless middle relief and struck out six to keep the game tied. Decker's outing was the longest-ever scoreless relief appearance in ballpark history.
Hudson Valley reliever Steve Hiscock (1-0) took the loss after allowing the game-winning run. Hiscock went a total of two-and-one-third innings, allowing that single run on three hits and two walks while striking out three.
It was also Military Appreciation Night at the park, as Spikes outfielder and West Point graduate Cole White helped the team honor the men and women of America's armed forces with a variety of pre-game and in-game tributes, with many fans showing military ID to receive free tickets to the game.
State College hits the road after an off day on Wednesday for three games with the Brooklyn Cyclones at MCU Park. The Spikes will send right-hander Tyler Waldron (0-0) to the mound for the first game of the series on Thursday at 7 p.m., while the Cyclones will counter with left-hander Mitch Houck (2-0), whose 0.87 ERA is sixth in the league.